My name is Claudia Maria Menendez. I was born in El Salvador, but spent most of my life in Canada. My favorite thing about Canada is that I also got many opportunities to learn and study in Quebec to learn French. I moved to Fort Collins in 2009 with my husband, Sebastian, after living and working internationally for environmental non-profits in Honduras, Uganda, Cuba, Kenya, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. Since then we’ve had two amazing kids Emilio (5) and Lucia (2.5).
Fun fact: between my husband and I, we have 5 nationalities- American, Canadian, El Salvadoran, Chilean, and Colombian.
I graduated from the University of Calgary with a Major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. I am certified to teach English Language Development (ESL) and K-12 Spanish.
My first teaching job was in 1998 in Canada, teaching Newcomer Canadians English Language Development classes. I taught people from Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Eritrea, Mali, Uganda, Ethiopia, Niger, Sudan, Serbia, Poland, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Argentina, Mexico, and sometimes all in one class!
After teaching for 5 years, I decided I needed to see the world and found work in the non-profit world. Being bilingual allowed to work and live in Central America & the Caribbean! It's an awesome advantage!
I’ve been teaching at Lincoln Middle School since 2013. What I love most about teaching Spanish Literacy at Lincoln Middle School is connecting with fellow teachers and students and sharing my love of Latin American’s incredibly rich history, traditions, languages, music, food, people, and geography.
I’m super proud to be a Lincoln Lancer!
As a teenager I used to love reading Anne Rice books. She writes about vampires and witches in New Orleans. Those books are awesome!
Then I moved onto historical fiction books by Wilber Smith. Those books gave me insight into what life may have been like in Egyptian times and during the slave trade. They taught me wonder and deep empathy and understanding!
As a teacher, I have enjoyed reading Casa on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. This book offers a view into how Latin Americans from all Spanish speaking countries adapt to living in the US and the situations they run into and have to problem solve to persevere.
We love living in Fort Collins and get to enjoy a lot of biking, trail running, yoga, camping, and rock climbing!
What I love most about Lincoln is the diversity of cultures our students and staff bring into our building! Our differences make us strong and help us better understand the world around us!